09/02/2012 10:22 GMT

Simon Weston, Falklands Veteran, To Fight For South Wales Police Commissioner

Falklands veteran Simon Weston will go head-to-head with a former first minister of Wales in the fight to become the first civilian police commissioner for South Wales.

Weston confirmed on Thursday he would stand for election against Alun Michael, an ex-Labour secretary of state for Wales and first minister of the Welsh Assembly.

The Cardiff South and Penarth MP was previously the sole candidate for the £100,000 a year job.

Every police force in Wales and England, except London, will have a commissioner with the power to set budgets and decide policing priorities.

Weston, 50, a father-of-three and a former Welsh Guardsman, was badly burned when the Sir Galahad was destroyed in 1982 during the Falklands conflict.

He suffered 46% burns on his body and underwent 70 separate major operations or surgical procedures during a slow recovery.

He overcame his injuries and went on to forge a new career as a charity worker, writer of children's books and after dinner speaker.

Weston has made several TV appearances in recent days commenting on the rising tensions between Britain and Argentina over the sovereignty of the islands, as the 30th anniversary of the war he fought it approaches.

He told Wales Online that he was inspired to stand by Colonel Tim Collins, the Iraq War veteran, who has spoken about standing as police commissioner in the south east of England.

"It occurred to me that was a job I could bring my experience to," he said.

“I’m an ordinary guy who is well known and I would make it my business to hear what the public had to say about policing. Crime is a very important issue and I think there’s a need for someone to go to when there is a problem.

“People want to know what’s being done about cars being stolen, about areas where young people are taking drugs or hanging around, about burglaries."

Earlier, the Falklands veteran commented briefly to The Sun: "Why should the politicians corner the market? Why they should have any greater insight to life?

"There are so many talented people out there who haven't had a chance to do their bit yet. I'm going to stand as an independent candidate because I believe I can make a contribution and bring something different."